Threats to city staff force cancellation of the Kuna Rodeo

Kuna Rodeo
Posted at 11:42 AM, Jan 12, 2023
and last updated 2023-01-12 13:50:17-05

KUNA, Idaho — Last September, Kuna hosted their first rodeo since the 1940's and for a short time, in the last couple of weeks, they had plans for two in 2023.

After the success of last year's Kuna Rodeo, which was hosted at the Crooked 8 event and concert venue, the city decided they wanted to make it an annual tradition.

The city started looking into other city-owned venues, as their contract with Crooked 8 was only for one year. The success of the Rodeo encouraged the city to use their own event center and create a Kuna Rodeo Arena. Last week, the city announced it's intention of hosting the Kuna Rodeo at a new location during Labor Day Weekend, Sept. 1-2, 2023.

The Crooked 8, having learned of the city's plans to host the rodeo elsewhere moving forward, organized The Kuna Stampede Rodeo. They had already announced plans for their rodeo to be held Sept. 1-2.

The announcement from the city for the Kuna Rodeo to be held the on same dates as the Kuna Stampede caused an uproar from people on social media. The outrage over this conflict escalated to include threats of violence against members of the city staff, leading Kuna Mayor Joe Stear to cancel the 2023 Kuna Rodeo entirely.

"There’s no good reason why this all came to where we’re at here today,” said Stear about the situation, which he thinks was blown-up more than it should have been. "We’re not doing that sort of thing here. In fact, we’re going to support the rodeo that is happening next fall, the Kuna Stampede.”

Crooked 8 Owner Lini Chytka says they denounce the threats of violence made. She also states there has no hard feelings towards the city and is grateful for how they helped them last year.

“Without that push I think, I don’t know that we would be here today," Chytka said. "A lot of good has come out of what seems bad in social media. The good thing is, this (the Kuna Stampede) is now born. This is going to continue and provide a lot of other resources for everyone in the community, not just the children.”

With the drama seemingly over, the Kuna Stampede is excited to move forward with their rodeo and build off the success from last year.

“The one that happened last year was awesome," said Chris Howard, who works with the new rodeo. "Great turnout, and if we’re going to do something like that again it’s going to take people like myself and the people on our board to make it happen. So, I’ll see you in September.”

To the Stampede, the rodeo is about more than just the few days of the festivities. They want to make a lasting impact on the city of Kuna through the rodeo as well as other non-profit events.

“With it being non-profit," said Chytka. "We are able to take any profits that the rodeo brings in and redistribute it throughout the community, providing other events.”

The Kuna Stampede Rodeo remains scheduled for Sept. 1-2 2023.